Simon Bennett is taking years of experience as a personal trainer, strength coach and director of high performance for the Edmonton Oilers and concentrating it into one facility in the heart of Ice District adjacent to Rogers Place.

On Tuesday, during a media tour construction update of Ice District, which includes an outdoor plaza, hotel, and luxury condominium tower, Bennett unveiled his Archetype fitness facility, located on the fifth floor of the Marriott Hotel, which is scheduled to open on Aug. 1.

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“This project has been in the making for over three years,” said Bennett, the general partner of Archetype. “When I was with the Oilers even two years ago, I was fairly part-time and I brought my team in and we began to look at the transitional steps for Archetype. Officially as of last September, I stepped back completely from the team and focused primarily on the development of this model.”

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Archetype features the latest in fitness equipment technology, a spa and numerous exercise rooms, which can be catered for different types of classes. The fitness centre will be open to hotel guest including visiting teams in town to face the Oilers during the NHL season.

“The focus is really attracting high performers in life, even though we work with high performers before, it’s the high performance in life that we’re really targeting and we’re really focusing on with the new club model,” Bennett said. “Really it’s about activating the other pillars that exist in optimizing lifestyle and optimizing performance.”

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Bennett was involved in the entire design of the club and believes he has created a space unique to other fitness facilities in the city.


New equipment for Archetype on the fifth floor of the Marriott Hotel in Ice District.

Derek Van Diest

“It’s a beautiful space, but really, the key is that I was dealing with a blank canvas and I was able to create the ultimate optimization experience for those members and people who will use this club,” Bennett said. “For me, each of the rooms all represent an incredible amount of detail and attention and the way the space flows is also going to allow us to maximize things like social connectivity, which is an important piece when it comes to health, well-being and optimizing physical potential.”

Bennett is well-known throughout the fitness industry in Edmonton. He was co-founder of Body by Bennett, was a contributing author to the book, Young as You Look, and was co-creator of a fitness tool ViPR, which has been adopted worldwide.

“That’s what I’ve been doing for the last 15 years, amassing the research and the science around peak performance,” Bennett said. “What we combine at Archetype is the science of high performance with the art of living.”

During his time with the Oilers, Bennett was innovative in his quest to help players reach their maximum physical potential. He was originally hired as the team’s strength and conditioning coach before being promoted to director of high performance.

“In that role what we were looking at is all things relatively to performance that would allow us to optimize what players are doing,” he said. “A lot of the job is finding new technologies, finding ways to monitor and track things so you can get players into that optimal zone. We were really vested in metrics, we were really vested in data collection, we were really invested in what could we do to optimize where we can bypass strength and conditioning and optimize overall performance.”

Bennett has been working on the Archetype concept and design for the past three years. He believes the club will help revolutionize the fitness industry.

“I think it’s an important distinction to make is that Archetype is not your typical health club,” Bennett said. “We’re not a hotel gym. We are fitness and lifestyle philosophy and what we’re offering is a very comprehensive approach in how to do lifestyle optimization, how to maximize human potential, that’s the core foundation for the club itself in terms of its design and its intention.”


New equipment for Archetype on the fifth floor of the Marriott Hotel in Ice District.

The location of the club is optimal considering the number of residents expected to move into Sky Residence starting on the 31st floor of the Stantec Tower, the tallest structure in the city. The 66-storey tower will feature nearly 1,900 square metres of amenity space exclusive for residential use. The Stantec Tower is connected to the Marriott Hotel and Rogers Place through the city’s pedway system.

“Really, we’re down to the final months of construction on this project,” said Tim Shipton, senior vice president of communications for the Oilers Entertainment Group. “We’re going to be opening the Marriott Hotel on Aug. 1, that will be the grand opening. It’s going to be welcoming residents into Legends and Sky Residence in September, October 2019 and the hope is the Ice District Plaza will be fully open in time for Oilers playoffs in 2019-2020.”

The condominium units on the northwest side of the tower overlook the plaza. The Sky residents begin on the 31st floor, while the penthouse units start on the 60th floor. Prices for individual units range from $363,900 for 490-square feet to $1,094,900 for 1,221-square feet.

“We believe there is nothing like this in North America when you look at the assets and amenities that make up Ice District is absolutely spectacular,” Shipton said. “This is all about bringing people into the heart of our city, bringing people into Ice District and giving them spaces they can enjoy.”


The view of Rogers Place from the roof of the Stantec Tower in Ice District.

Once completed, the Oilers hope to attract major NHL events to Rogers Place such as the NHL Draft and the All-Star game.

“To me, Ice District is a very big vision and it started with our owner Daryl Katz and his belief that the Oilers and the arena district could revitalize downtown Edmonton and it’s such a big vision that you do have to see it to believe it,” Shipton said. “There is nothing like this in Edmonton and quite frankly, there is nothing like this anywhere in Canada, if not North America. We’re building something so special in the heart of our city that we want to invite people down to take in those different views that make it unique.”

During the tour, media were invited to the rooftop of the Stantec Tower, which provided unique panoramic views of the city.


The view of downtown Edmonton from the roof of the Stantec Tower in Ice District.

“It’s really an exciting time for Daryl Katz, and for our entire company. We’ve been talking about it and planning Ice District for many, many years. In fact Daryl started acquiring land when he bought the Edmonton Oilers,” Shipton said. “So this vision come to fruition is very exciting and to know that we’re going to be welcoming people into our towers and into our hotel in the future months, it’s very exciting for all of us.”

Email: [email protected]

On Twitter: @DerekVanDiest


Former Edmonton Oilers director of high performance to open fitness facility in heart of Ice District

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